Jump to content
California

2017-18 season

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Finding partners for Yu isn't easy. Last year, following the mid-season departure of Maddox, she didn't dance in Swan Lake, although she was not injured. When I tell people that I saw Yu dance Giselle with Côté, I'm met with incredulous looks, including from more recent members of the company. Admittedly, the partnering in Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty is not as arduous as the partnering in Wright's Giselle or Kudelka's Swan Lake, but we should consider the possibility that Ebe did not feel up to the task of partnering Yu, or perhaps that he didn't want to do it, and that a couple of shows opposite Lobsanova and a couple of Bluebirds with Vanstone suit him just fine.

The problem of too few tall leading men is very real since Kain's intent appears to be to advance Fischer, Hawes and MacDonald, who require tall partners, and Saye is very tall, but he cannot dance with them all. As a result Gerty has been fast tracked and now so has Jiang. I'm sorry to say that Gerty was not up to the task in Swan Lake, and I have no reason to doubt you when you write that Jiang isn't ready for his primetime moment either.

Edited by volcanohunter

Share this post


Link to post

The rankings aren't really considered in this company. Corps doing Principal roles, Principals doing Bluebird, and some Principals doing nothing at all. 

Siphe November does not appear to fit the aesthetic Karen has mandated for her tenure ie. long and thin. He does not appear to have a traditionally classical line or body at all. At least in the photos online. However the company may be changing in this regard. His jump sounds exciting.

volcanohunter and kbarber you have each referenced Evan McKie as "unavailable". Do you have a source for this? Can anyone verify the reason for his absence? Hopefully if he is injured he will heal quickly.

Share this post


Link to post

It's not at all unusual for principal dancers to perform the Bluebird pas de deux. I have not yet been to see the National Ballet's current run. The last performance of Sleeping Beauty I saw took place at the Bolshoi, and at that performance Florine and the Bluebird were danced by principals (and Aurora by a member of the corps, and it was plenty obvious which was which, even if artistic directors don't like to admit it).

Share this post


Link to post

I'm so excited to hear about Siphe November. He just graduated from the National Ballet School last June where he was the "star" for a long time. He is relatively short but an amazing dancer and his jumps are incredible. It doesn't surprise me that he's already getting solo roles. I think he's one to watch. You might want to watch this video. His life story is quite incredible, too.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

They made a last minute casting change and Elena Lobsanova debuted on the 10th with Naoya Ebe. I believe she was replacing Svetlana Lunkina who has been moved to the 15th. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Lunkina was originally scheduled to perform on the 9th and 15th. When she was unable to do the first performance, Dronina was moved from the matinee on the 10th to the 9th, and Lobsanova's debut was moved up from the 13th to the afternoon of the 10th. So instead of partnering two different Auroras--first Dronina, then Lobsanova--Ebe was rescheduled to do both performances with Lobsanova.

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone seen anything official on McKie? First he's out of Sleeping Beauty and now Nijinski...

Share this post


Link to post

He was withdrawn from a run of performances in late January and hasn't appeared on stage since. 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

If a dancer has not yet decided to give a public explanation, I am not going to do it either.

Edited by volcanohunter

Share this post


Link to post

Evan McKie is now scheduled to perform Nijinksy in San Fran as per the National Ballet site and his Instagram.

 

Share this post


Link to post
On April 5, 2018 at 5:46 AM, McJagger said:

Evan McKie is now scheduled to perform Nijinksy in San Fran as per the National Ballet site and his Instagram.

 

And he was superb. 

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for these -- they were a part of my early dance education.

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone else seen Frame By Frame?  I attended the matinee today.

Share this post


Link to post

I've only read one of the reviews (Globe and Mail).  My reaction was similar to that review.  The concept of mixed media that was used is quite interesting, and I'm sure has lots of potential.  There were some moments that I really did enjoy.

Overall however the work was far too long.  Two hours with no intermission.  It was presented  in little stories or chapters, the way you might see in film.  Most of these could have been shortened quite significantly - especially the ones with no specific theme  (e.g., "lines").  About 3/4 of the way through the curtain came down and the house lights went up slightly.  We were informed that there was an unexpected delay due to technical difficulties. Say WHAT?  Some audience members left at this point.  Others had trouble making it through such a long performance, and had to excuse themselves and return (which of course is disruptive for the rest of us).

There was only one cast for this work, and from what I can tell no corps members had roles.  Will have to double check that. Odd I thought that there was only one cast - well as it turns out there is very little actual dancing, so I guess the need for rest between shows is mitigated significantly.

Please NBOC do not bring this back for another season.  Put it on film - a nice CBC special perhaps.

Share this post


Link to post

correction:  there were several corps members who danced in the ensemble roles.  These dancers included:  Jeannine Haller, Miyoko Koyasu, Meghan Pugh, Kota Sato, and  Calley Skalnik.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I saw Frame By Frame yesterday and was underwhelmed. Though I'm sure the dancers gave it their all, the choreography was itself largely unmemorable and the effects often seemed more restlessly busy than illuminating, as though the audience was expected to have the attention span of toddlers. Publicity stills from the ballet moved me more than the performance. Aside from the "Chairy" segment, the McLaren film excerpts were the high points, and show a palette of emotions and depth of connection that this work, for the most part, did not.

Low points: (1) Lighting that is beamed straight at audience members' faces is, to me, like getting a retinal scan. It's positively painful. (2) No intermission. Really? Was the plotline of the work so precious that we couldn't shift out of our seats for 15 minutes? (3) The "Shanghai, 1949" segment. To go from seeing footage of refugees fleeing a city to a teashop in which Chinese characters come to life as a fish, a bird, etc., and then women dressed as soldiers with guns/bayonets (?) brightly zinging around the stage was appalling, atrocious, cringe-worthy, Orientalist, tone-deaf, etc etc. (I mean, would you do this with Jews and Nazis as characters? It seems like the Orientalism of ballet permits quite a bit of modern choreography to be blatantly and smugly Orientalist, e.g., the tittering parasol girl that the Prince in Kudelka's Cinderella encounters as he tours the world.) I don't know how closely this sequence was based on the McLaren film, but if it is based on that, well, some works don't stand the test of time: I would rather it had been omitted or commented upon within the work -- after all, the work is throughout a commentary on McLaren's own. 

On the bright side, having seen Paz de la Jolla in rehearsal, I can recommend it warmly.

PS I did wonder what Aleksandar Antonijevic would have done in the lead, or Evan McKie...dancers with greater experience at imbuing steps with intention. This is a tough work for a younger dancer to carry. But even the more senior women principals seemed not to find much in it.

Edited by Blackcurrant

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/8/2018 at 4:07 PM, Blackcurrant said:

I saw Frame By Frame yesterday and was underwhelmed. Though I'm sure the dancers gave it their all, the choreography was itself largely unmemorable and the effects often seemed more restlessly busy than illuminating, as though the audience was expected to have the attention span of toddlers. Publicity stills from the ballet moved me more than the performance.

.....

(3) The "Shanghai, 1949" segment. To go from seeing footage of refugees fleeing a city to a teashop in which Chinese characters come to life as a fish, a bird, etc., and then women dressed as soldiers with guns/bayonets (?) brightly zinging around the stage was appalling, atrocious, cringe-worthy, Orientalist, tone-deaf, etc etc. (I mean, would you do this with Jews and Nazis as characters? It seems like the Orientalism of ballet permits quite a bit of modern choreography to be blatantly and smugly Orientalist, e.g., the tittering parasol girl that the Prince in Kudelka's Cinderella encounters as he tours the world.)

I appreciate the discussion of this, since I'm likely not to see the work.  I remember wondering how this would be developed when I first heard about the commission -- McLaren's work with dance was often about showing us things that bodies could not do (speed, spatial displacement).  Rather like contemporary music videos that edit movement sequences so tightly that an uninterrupted dance phrase seems unusual, film gives us a difference sense of the body and its possibilities.  I'm not sure that live dance is the best compliment to that.

On your comment about Orientalism -- I haven't seen Kudelka's Cinderella, but your description reminded me of a similar moment in Jean-Christophe Maillot's version of the ballet.  Between the semi-Asian costumes and stereotyped movement, that section felt incredibly dated and uncomfortable to me.  I'm wondering how many other productions of the ballet include that kind of reference?

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with you both about the Shanghai segment.  It made me feel quite uncomfortable, to be honest, and the dancers actually looked a bit uncomfortable themselves.

Share this post


Link to post

Frame by Frame is evidently headed to Sadler's Wells in London at some point. Maybe next year ? Their (Sadler's) schedule for the rest of 2018 is already fixed. I wonder if there will be any tinkering with the production before then. It seems likely - Lepage tweaked the dance production he did with Guillem / Maliphant quite considerably in the course of its life.  If the company is visiting. is it likely that they would bring any other productions ? 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Lynette H said:

Frame by Frame is evidently headed to Sadler's Wells in London at some point. Maybe next year ? Their (Sadler's) schedule for the rest of 2018 is already fixed. I wonder if there will be any tinkering with the production before then. It seems likely - Lepage tweaked the dance production he did with Guillem / Maliphant quite considerably in the course of its life.  If the company is visiting. is it likely that they would bring any other productions ? 

unlikely, I would say. They usually tour just one production at a time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×